Friday, June 25, 2010

Carrot Cake

I felt like doing some baking today, so I made this carrot cake which is just so moist and full of taste. WARNING though- It's not for the diet conscience.

I would normally add ½ cup walnuts to my carrot cake but today I just simply forgot! So I added some to the top of the cake as decoration instead :P

The mini carrots around the cake are made out of marzipan. Marzipan is a sweet almond and sugar paste. It can be moulded into any shape and is commonly sculpted and painted into fruit, animals, and flowers. When used to ice a cake, marzipan can be rolled into thin sheets and draped over the cake. It is then carefully smoothed down to provide a uniform look- wedding cakes are commonly iced this way.

You can easily make your own marzipan or purchase it in the baking section of your supermarket. I didn't have any in my pantry and just made it from scratch. I used ½ cup almond meal, ½ cup icing sugar, ½ eggwhite and 1 drop vanilla extract. I then kneaded all the ingredients together until I had a smooth pliable dough. The marzipan carrots are easy enough to make, and they just simply look adorable on top of carrot cake or cupcakes!

Adapted from the recipe in Fresh Living magazine- 9 August 2004, page 53

This recipe makes one 20cm round cake or sixteen 1/3 cup capacity cupcakes


Oil, to grease
2-3 (about 300g) carrots
1 cup self-raising flour
½ cup plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup golden syrup
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup walnuts, chopped


250g spreadable cream cheese (softened)
½ cup icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence

Marzipan carrots

Red and yellow food colouring
Icing sugar for dusting
Edible sprigs of herbs for decoration, such as dill or parsley (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a 20cm (base) round cake pan lightly with oil, and line with non-stick baking paper. Peel and grate the carrots, and set aside. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon into a large bowl. Mix well together.
  2. Put the brown sugar, oil, golden syrup, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl. Use a balloon whisk to mix until combined.  
  3. Pour the oil mixture into the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to stir gently until just combined. Stir in the grated carrot and walnuts. 
  4. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 1 hour. Set aside for 5 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  
  5. To make the icing, place the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
  6. Spread the icing over the cake. Decorate cake as desires
To make the marzipan carrots

Coat your hands with icing sugar, or wear plastic gloves (this prevents the marzipan from sticking to your hands).

Knead the marzipan until it has softened slightly. Flatten the marzipan into a disc, and add a few drops of red and yellow food coloring to the middle, using a ratio of 1 drop red to 2 drops yellow. Fold the marzipan into a ball and begin to knead the color throughout the dough, adding more food coloring if desired, working until the marzipan is one uniform color.

Roll the dough into small balls the size of a 5 cent piece. Roll the balls between your palms, elongating them into thin tubes and tapering one end, so that they are shaped like carrots.

Take a toothpick and, holding it perpendicular to the carrots, make horizontal indentations all along the length of the carrot to create slight creases.

If desired, poke holes in the tops of the carrots, and insert the sprigs of herbs to be the carrot leaves.

Store marzipan carrots in an airtight Tupperware container for up to two weeks

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